Autism and old age

Book chapter


Martin, N and Krupa, J (2017). Autism and old age. in: Autism and Intellectual Disability in Adults Hove Pavilion Publishing and Media.
AuthorsMartin, N and Krupa, J
Abstract

There is very little research about autism and intellectual impairment in later life, and it of concern to autistic people and their families that there is no obvious source of advice about high quality services dedicated to ensuring that life can be lived to the full right up until death. Advanced planning is clearly a good idea, but looking into what might be out there can feel like staring into a void and this can create anxiety for those trying to plan ahead. This anxiety is well founded as provision is limited and there seems to be little political will to change this situation, despite equalities and autism legislation which aims to improve quality of life for autistic and other disabled people throughout life. The picture is worrying for those who are formally diagnosed and there will also inevitably be ageing adults on the spectrum who never had the opportunity to access a diagnosis and the notional legal protections this may afford. Some generic information about medical, social, emotional and practical aspects of ageing may be useful, but it is essential to think specifically about what might be helpful for older autistic people with lifelong or acquired cognitive difficulties and who may also experience lifelong or acquired barriers to communication. Understanding autism from a social model perspective is important, but the emphasis must be place on individuality, so that professionals are alive to potential stereotyping, including making heteronormative assumptions. Listening to autistic people about this subject provides a good starting point, and more autistic involvement in research about what might be conducive to health and happiness in old age, and the deployment of resources to make this happen would be marvellous.

KeywordsAutism. Old age.
Year2017
Book titleAutism and Intellectual Disability in Adults
PublisherPavilion Publishing and Media
Place of publicationHove
ISBN9781911028673
Publication dates
Print14 Nov 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Mar 2018
Accepted01 Oct 2017
Web address (URL)https://www.pavpub.com/autism-and-intellectual-disability-volume-2/
JournalAutism and Intellectual Disability in Adults
Journal citation2 (1), pp. 83-88
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/86wxq

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